Grading the 17 deals made before the 2019 NBA Trade Deadline
The 2019 NBA trade deadline has come and gone and there were a flurry of moves made across the NBA. Some teams swung for the fences and made big deals, while others simply tinkered with their roster a bit.
Let’s dive in and take a look at what grades each team deserves for the 17 moves made (listed in chronological order).
17. Philadelphia Goes All-In To Acquire Tobias Harris from Clippers
The Trade: Philadelphia receives Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, and Mike Scott from Clippers for Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, Landry Shamet, 2020 first-round pick, 2021 first-round pick (from Miami), two future second-round picks.
Both teams made a good move with this deal. Harris is going to give the 76ers a legitimate “Big Four” while the Clippers were able to get a major return for a player that was already on his way out. If the 76ers can re-sign Harris and Butler, they will go down as the winners of this trade, but the Clippers did add in some valuable assets with this trade that could help them re-tool.
Clippers Grade: B+
76ers Grade: A-
16. Lakers Make a Trade, But Not the One Everyone Wants
The Trade: Lakers receive Reggie Bullock from Pistons for Svi Mykhailiuk and a future second-round pick.
Magic Johnson made his first move of the trade deadline by acquiring Bullock from the Pistons. This is a very small deal compared to all the Anthony Davis talks that were heard, but Bullock will provide some depth and perimeter shooting. Unfortunately, Bullock is not going to move the needle on the Lakers’ playoff hopes.
Lakers Grade: B-
Pistons Grade: C+
15. Philadelphia Adds Some Bench Depth
The Trade: 76ers receive Malachi Richardson, 2022 second-round pick, and draft rights to Emir Preldzic from Toronto for cash considerations.
This trade isn’t one that drew too many eyes, and rightfully so. Richardson is not going to have much of a role for the 76ers, but they needed depth after acquiring Harris. As for the Raptors’ side of things, they simply offloaded a player that they weren’t going to keep and saved some money.
Update: Richardson was waived to make room for a trade later on this list.
76ers Grade: C
Raptors Grade: C+
14. Phoenix Makes a Move for a Talented Guard
The Trade: Suns receive Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington from Miami for Ryan Anderson.
Miami and Phoenix teamed up for one of the most surprising moves ahead of the trade deadline. Tyler Johnson is a very talented guard and the Suns were happy to scoop him up. Ellington is headed for a buy out and free agency, while Anderson will add some three-point shooting for the Heat. Neither team made any major progress with this trade, but it was a solid move for Phoenix.
Suns Grade: B+
Heat Grade: B-
13. New Orleans Makes a Trade for Front-Court Depth
The Trade: Pelicans trade Wesley Johnson to the Wizards for Markieff Morris, 2023 second-round pick.
As the Anthony Davis trade rumors continued to fly, the Pelicans went out and acquired Markieff Morris from the Wizards. Washington needed to cut some salary, which made this a very solid move for them. New Orleans wanted to add needed depth and Morris could be a quality piece for them to try to keep long-term.
Pelicans Grade: B
Wizards Grade: B
12. Chicago Makes a Splash at the Trade Deadline
The Trade: Bulls acquire Otto Porter Jr. from the Wizards for Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis Jr.
Another trade that shocked the NBA was the Bulls picking up a talented 3-and-D wing from the Wizards. Porter is going to be a nice building block for Chicago. Washington was happy to pick up a reclamation project in Parker and a very talented front-court player in Portis. Both teams got what they wanted in this deal.
Bulls Grade: B+
Wizards Grade: B+
11. Harrison Barnes Is Shockingly Traded Mid-Game
The Trade: Mavericks acquire Justin Jackson and Zach Randolph from the Kings for Harrison Barnes.
This one wins the award for most awkward trade of the deadline. Harrison Barnes is an excellent pickup for the Kings, but this move happened in the middle of the Mavericks’ game while Barnes was playing. Dallas is going to buy out Randolph, but Jackson has some potential and is a decent pickup, while also cutting salary by moving Barnes.
Mavericks Grade: B-
Kings Grade: B+
10. Philadelphia Makes Yet Another Small Trade
The Trade: 76ers acquire James Ennis from the Rockets for the swap rights to a 2021 second-round pick.
Quite possibly the most boring trade of the deadline, Ennis does offer some kind of wing depth for the 76ers. Houston, on the other hand, simply wanted to get rid of him. This deal doesn’t do much, but it did happen.
76ers Grade: C+
Rockets Grade: C+
9. Milwaukee Makes Major Three-Team Move with the Pelicans, Pistons
The Trade: Bucks acquire Nikola Mirotic from the Pelicans for Jason Smith, Stanley Johnson, and four second-round picks. Pistons helped facilitate.
In another massive trade deadline move, the Eastern Conference-leading Bucks went out and acquired a top-notch shooter and scorer in Nikola Mirotic. They only had to give up Jason Smith and Stanley Johnson, which is one of the biggest steals of the deadline. Milwaukee is a serious contender and this move makes them an even more dangerous team.
Bucks Grade: A
Pelicans Grade: C+
8. Indiana Makes Quick, Small Deal with Houston
The Trade: Pacers acquire Nik Stauskas, Wade Baldwin, and second-round pick from Rockets for cash considerations.
Kevin Pritchard made one of the smallest, smartest moves of the NBA trade deadline. He went out and acquired Nik Stauskas, Wade Baldin, and a second-round pick from the Rockets. Indiana will proceed to waive both players, effectively receiving a second-round pick for nothing. Houston made this move to cut money off their books.
Pacers Grade: B
Rockets Grade: B-
7. Memphis Makes a Solid Deal with the Clippers
The Trade: Grizzlies acquire Avery Bradley from the Clippers for Garrett Temple and JaMychal Green.
Memphis was one of the most talked about teams heading into the trade deadline and this was their first move. They went out and acquired a solid defensive guard in Avery Bradley for Garrett Temple and JaMychal Green. L.A. added more depth and quality players for a player that wasn’t in their long-term plans.
Grizzlies Grade: B-
Clippers Grade: B-
6. Toronto Makes Huge Deal To Acquire Marc Gasol from Memphis
The Trade: Raptors acquire Marc Gasol from the Grizzlies for Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, C.J. Miles, and a 2024 second-round pick.
After seeing other Eastern Conference contenders make big moves for a playoff push, the Raptors went out and made a blockbuster of their own. Toronto made the move to acquire Marc Gasol from the Grizzlies, while the Raptors re-tooled their roster with Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, C.J. Miles, and a 2024 second-round pick. Both teams accomplished what they wanted and this one should go down as a win-win.
Raptors Grade: A
Grizzlies Grade: B
5. Lakers Make Another Trade, Again Not for AD
The Trade: Lakers acquire Mike Muscala from the Clippers for Michael Beasley and Ivica Zubac.
This could be one of the biggest head-scratching trades of the NBA trade deadline. L.A. had danged Zubac in a trade package for Anthony Davis, but flipping him for Muscala doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The Clippers may be getting a major steal with this move.
Lakers Grade: C+
Clippers Grade: B
4. Kings Make Another Move for Front-Court Depth
The Trade: Kings acquire Caleb Swanigan from the Blazers for Skal Labissiere.
In this move, the Kings made a quiet deal that has potential ahead of the NBA trade deadline. Caleb Swanigan has failed to live up to the hype that surrounded him, but he does add much-needed rebounding for the Kings’ bench. He may not play a lot, but Skal Labissiere was not going to be a contributor. Portland is hoping to develop Skal’s potential.
Kings Grade: C+
Blazers Grade: C+
3. Orlando Makes Huge Move for Markelle Fultz
The Trade: Magic acquire Markelle Fultz from the 76ers for Jonathon Simmons, Thunder first-round pick, Cleveland second-round pick.
Orlando made one of the biggest moves of the NBA trade deadline, acquiring point guard Markelle Fultz from the 76ers in exchange for three pieces. Philadelphia didn’t have Fultz in their long-term plans and this move will help bolster their depth and give them more assets. The Magic get their point guard of the future.
Magic Grade: B+
76ers Grade: B
2. Boston Makes Smallest Move of the NBA Trade Deadline
The Trade: Celtics send Jabari Bird and cash to the Hawks.
Jabari Bird was the only move that the Celtics made at the trade deadline. Atlanta was happy to take him on, although they are already planning to waive him. The Celtics will now focus on the Anthony Davis sweepstakes in the offseason.
Celtics Grade: C-
Hawks Trade: C-
1. Toronto Makes Last-Second Deal
The Trade: Raptors trade Greg Monroe and second-round pick to the Nets.
Finally, after a hectic NBA trade deadline, the Raptors finished it off by sending Greg Monroe and a second-round pick to the Nets. This move seems purely financial and the Raptors will likely be active on the buyout market. Brooklyn will likely end up waiving Monroe when everything is said and done.
Raptors Grade: C
Nets Grade: C+
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